Washington, DC
Jill Pollack leads a group through the 2018 Berlin Marathon. Photo: Sportograf

 For four years in New York, Jillian Pollack seemed to be throwing her time, energy and sweat into a hole the size of a skyscraper foundation. 

It wasn’t wasted – she met her best friends as a runner for Columbia University – but running wasn’t the same as when she was a star a Winchester’s Millbrook High School.

When she came back five years later to run the New York City Marathon, she got the payoff she had been working toward years before, one that put the Olympic Marathon Trials standard squarely in her view.

“I enjoyed running there and I made my best friends there, but college running didn’t go well,” she said. “I never made a conference meet, but I loved the sport.”

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Bethesda’s Tom Kramer celebrates completing his 43rd Marine Corps Marathon. Photo: Courtesy of Tom Kramer

Bethesda’s Tom Kramer may not have run every single Marine Corps Marathon, but that’s only because he skipped the first one. From then on, 76-year-old Kramer has run 43 of the 44 Marine Corps Marathons, an achievement that has put his name in the Marine Corps Marathon Hall of Fame.

With 43, he moves into the lead for most Marine Corps Marathon finishes. He had been tied at 42 with Arlington’s Al Richmond, whose “Groundpounder” streak ended last year when he passed on running his 43rd.  Donald Aycock of Fairbanks, Alaska and Steve Bozeman of Lynchburg have finished 42. Maureen Higgins of Perdidio Beach, Ala. leads the women with 32 finishes.

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Gen. Dennis J. Reimer runs the 2019 Army Ten-Miler. Photo: Marathon Photos

After running his 16th Army Ten-Miler, Gen. Dennis J. Reimer, the former chief of staff of the U.S. Army, reflected on the role that physical fitness plays in today’s military, his career in the Army and his life as a runner.

This year, at age 80, he ran the course in 2:07:07. During his tenure as chief of staff from 1995-1999, he ran the course, in 1998, in 1:10:45, finishing 1,207 out of 7,933 men.

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Jenna Goldberg leads Charlotte Turesson early in the 2019 Maryland state cross country championships. Photo: Charlie Ban

Buried back in 56th place last year, Walter Johnson’s Jenna Goldberg knew her state meet performance wasn’t what she felt was possible. But it wasn’t as much because of her then-recently-diagnosed anemia. It was her confidence.

“I definitely felt stronger, significantly better, but I’m just in a much better place mentally,” she said soon after winning the 2019 4A title in 17:50. “Every race this year gave me the opportunity to experiment with different racing styles and see how they worked. By the end, I proved that easing into the race was the best strategy for me.”

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Photo: Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography

Name:  Julie Peasley

Self-described age group: 40-45

Residence: Springfield

Occupation: Medical Librarian

Volunteer roles in the running world: I have worked a lot of water stops over the years.  I also love to help with pop-up cheer stations. If you have run DC Rock’n’Roll in the past five years, you have likely seen me and my friends at the top of the Big Hill as you turn on to Calvert, handing out candy and ringing the cow bells. We will be at the Richmond Marathon in a few weeks, too, so if a devil throws some candy at you, it might be me!

Why you run:  I first did it for my health and sanity.  I was battling health issues and worked in a high-stress environment. I started walking every day at lunch and decided to see how far I could walk in 30 minutes, trying to pick up my pace.  I quickly moved on to the Couch 2 5K program and ran my first marathon a year after that.  I now run because I am part of an amazing running group and it feels like a rolling party when we are together.

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Jessica McGuire finishes the 2019 Dash to the Finish Line 5k. Photo: MarathonFoto

Jessica McGuire didn’t qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials on raw talent. It took hard work.

That’s according to her coach, Jerry Alexander, who coaches the Northern Virginia Running Club.

“She has maximized her ability like no other athlete I’ve ever worked with,” he said.

Alexander didn’t initially think that running an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying time of 2:45 or below was realistic. McGuire was able to bring her personal record, then 3:13, down to 2:55 at the 2016 Chicago Marathon. But even from there, qualifying for the Trials would still mean getting her time down by more than 10 minutes.

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